William Sweeney, President and CEO
William “Bill” Sweeney is the president and CEO of the International Foundation for Electoral Systems (IFES), bringing decades of experience to the organization in election-assistance and democracy support. He was appointed president in June 2009 by the IFES Board of Directors. Prior to his appointment as president, Sweeney served on the Board of Directors at IFES from 1993 to 2001, and as chairman from 1999 to 2000. He has observed elections in the Philippines (1986), Russia (1994), Nicaragua (1996), Jamaica (1997), Mexico (2012), Kenya (2013), Pakistan (2013), Ukraine (2014), Indonesia (2014), Myanmar (2015), Nigeria (2015), Guatemala (2015), Jordan (2016), Georgia (2016), Liberia (2017), Mexico (2018), Zimbabwe (2018) and Tunisia (2014, 2018).
Sweeney was vice president for global government affairs for EDS from 2000 to 2009 and managed relations with governments and policy organizations around the world. He was the founding president of Washington Resources & Strategy, Inc., a public affairs management company, from 1985 until 1991. From 1981 until 1985, Bill was deputy chairman of the Democratic National Committee and served as executive director of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee from 1977 until 1981.
In 2009, Sweeney was awarded an honorary Order of the British Empire for his service to the British Embassy. In 2007, Sweeney was awarded the Issac Hull Medal in honor of his service to the Smithsonian Environmental Research Center from 2000 to 2007.
Sweeney is a member of the Advisory Committee for International IDEA’s Global Commission on Elections, Democracy and Security. He also serves on the Board of Directors of the National Foreign Trade Council Foundation.
Sweeney holds a bachelor's degree in political science from American University’s School of Government and Public Administration. He was a founder and director of the Campaign Management Institute at American University where he received awards for service and teaching. He currently serves as a member of the Board of Directors for the Center for Congressional and Presidential Studies.